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 By Ian Holyman

Anderlect's Olivier Deschacht to appeal €24,000 betting fine

Olivier Deschacht won his seventh Belgian Jupiler Pro League title in May 2017.
Olivier Deschacht won his seventh Belgian league title in 2017.

Anderlect's Olivier Deschacht is to appeal after being hit with a €24,000 fine for betting on football matches.

Deschacht, 36, had always claimed his brother, Xavier, who was fined €6,000, had placed the bets using an account in his name.

Belgium's Gaming Commission claimed the former Belgium international defender had placed bets directly from his iPhone, a fact Deschacht denies.

The fine is high in comparison to players previously found guilty of betting on matches as Deschacht not only bet on his own team to lose, including notably a Champions League match against Benfica, but also because he had -- unlike the others -- always maintained his innocence.

The Royal Belgian Football Association could inflict further punishment on Deschacht, though it is likely to await the outcome of his appeal.

Anderlecht, for whom Deschacht has played since 1997, backed their all-time appearance maker via their official Twitter account: "Anderlect notes the fine imposed on Olivier Deschacht by the Gaming Commission. Nothing changes. Olivier is a RSCA player."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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